/ fitness for trekking peaks

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Chris Ridgers - on 30 Aug 2014
Probably a stupid question but what sort of fitness do you need to climb 6000m trekking peaks? I am going to Nepal in April and want an idea of what to expect! does anyone have any advice/tips on training?

Mountain Llama on 30 Aug 2014
In reply to Chris Ridgers:
Hi Chris, I did a few peaks in Nepal back in 2006 with jagged globe, there is a fair bit of stuff on their web site re fitness etc.

At the time I was climbing a couple of times a week, running 15 mls per week plus a did some multi day camping trips carrying all my gear.

I'd say is definitely worth putting in some effort before you go to give your self the best chance of enjoying your trip.

I'd also recommend sorting out your camping organisation skills if your camping, as you need to be logical about what you do and have it all as second nature. This means going camping.

Staying well is not easy, eat local style dishes, take alcohol hand wash and use it, drink plenty of water.

Finally, I found it helpful to have a relaxed and open mind about my trip, and I took each day as it came.

Enjoy your trip.

Cheers Davey
Post edited at 20:03
AlanLittle - on 30 Aug 2014
In reply to Chris Ridgers:

The DAV - being the DAV - has a guideline for the required fitness level would-be participants on their DAV Summit Club commercial expeditions. It's in German so I won't trouble you with a link, but for 6,000ers it is being able to do a thousand metres of ascent on an alpine hut approach in 2 hrs 30 to 2 hrs 50, wearing big boots and carrying a 20kg rucksack.
Burty21 - on 30 Aug 2014
In reply to Chris Ridgers:

Hey Chris,

May seem obvious, but do as much as possible beforehand. I climbed Mera peak last year and the summit day asked everything I had. I work full time in the hills guiding walks and was surprised how hard it was for me (not in an arrogant way). Conditions on the mountain had been pretty poor so there was very deep snow all the way up, but you need to be prepared to have enough in the tank in case you get this too.

I'd say get yourself as hillfit as you can, including carrying a heavy pack (not that you are likely to have one on the trek)and bigger boots.

highclimber - on 30 Aug 2014
In reply to Chris Ridgers:
To borrow a Don Whillans quote - Get fit, move slow

get out in the hills with a full bag and yomp up and down them.
Padraig on 30 Aug 2014
In reply to Chris Ridgers:

In my opinion.. the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the trek. Notwithstanding the possibility of AMS etc.
Louise Stone - on 30 Aug 2014
In reply to Chris Ridgers:

Have a great time! I climbed Mera in 2003. Biggest thing that helped me get up was cardio fitness, because you're hill-walking at altitude with less oxygen avail to you. Anything that really gets your heart and lungs working hard is good, especially running (esp with hills) and hill-walking. If you can run on trails somtimes rather than tarmac / gym you get the added benefit of training your balance muscles at the same time. The more cardio you do, the more chance you have of getting up and enjoying it.

If you have more time & motivation, add in squats / lunges to build up those quads for going uphill.

Tip: at that kind of altitude you don't heal till you come back down - anything from little cuts to a cold. So take what will get you through - cold remedies, pain killers, immodium, etc.

When you're acutally out there, don't be tempted to walk as fast as you can just because you can. What you won't be feeling is the slow catch-up your body is doing to adapt to the altitude, which takes time - it's building up more red blood cells to help you absorb oxygen. So slow it down, drinks plenty of fluids, and you may just reduce the inevitable symptoms (headaches, nausea, fatigue) to a tolerable level : ) Also, out of interest, altitude difficulties aren't related to fitness levels.

Climbing skills aren't really nec for trekking peaks, though getting used to crampons and ice axe is useful.
marzi - on 31 Aug 2014
In reply to Chris Ridgers:

Ive done some 6000m stuff in the andes and I found Icicle mountaineering have some good training planners

mostly based on running, though you can substitute hour long runs with 2 hour bike rides.

If you live near the lakes or snowdonia or Scottish highlands The best fitness is hill walking though, If you can do 8 weekends of 2 day trips to the lakes or similar with 3 weekly sessions of running/ cycling leading up to your trip you should be fit enough to enjoy those big 6000 "hills"

Some winter stuff on the snow is beneficial too to get used to the different feel under your feet with crampons on etc
ciaran1999 - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Chris Ridgers:
I have to say some of the replies here would intimidate me if I was off on my first trip. Himalayan trekking is very slow paced and does not require any more fitness than I would expect you to have as a regular climber/walker.

What I would suggest instead is getting as healthy as possible, eats lots of good food (you will lose a lot of weight which affects energy levels) and work on any old injuries as it's more likely to be the long term degradation of your body at altitude that will affect you rather than cardiovascular fitness.

With this in mind getting out as much as possible before your trip will be helpful but try not to panic too much.

best of luck
Post edited at 08:54
Howard J - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Louise Stone:
> Climbing skills aren't really nec for trekking peaks, though getting used to crampons and ice axe is useful.

Not necessarily true. "Trekking Peak" refers to the type of permit needed rather than the technical difficulty. Don't assume that a trekking peak is just a snow plod (although some are), it could be quite technical. If you're going with an operator they should be able to advise on the difficulty and level of fitness and ability required.

ciaran1999's comments may apply to a 'tourist' valley trek (although I would still suggest getting fit beforehand) but trekking peaks are proper mountaineering.

I would say work hard to get as fit as possible. When I went, I was the fittest I had been since my twenties and it still wasn't enough. However fitness is no guarantee that you will acclimatise.
Post edited at 09:04
radson - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Howard J:
I very much agree. I have climbed Island Peak 3 times.

Each successive time, I was fitter and therefore quicker, safer and more alert.

People really want to be as fit as possible for these kind of trips. I have seen often people who think a very ordinary level of fitness will be 'allright' when getting above 5,000 m and then start to blame the operator, the conditions, the diet etc for their poor performance.
Post edited at 12:00

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